President Obama insisted that the American economy is strong, even after $1.8 trillion in wealth vanished out of American households as a result of the stock market sell-off Monday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 588 points, the worst decline since August 2011 after plunging over 1,000 points earlier in the day.
But Obama painted a rosy economic picture during a fundraiser last night with wealthy Democrats in a Las Vegas suburb.
“Systematically we have dug ourselves out of the economic hole that we were in,” he said, asserting that Nevada’s economy had bounced back. “Still got a lot of work to do, but the economy is stronger, the housing market is stronger. People are seeing job creation once again.”
He blamed Republicans on Congress for holding back the economy after they failed to pass an expansive highway bill.
“Right now, we could be putting hundreds of thousands of people back to work rebuilding the infrastructure of this country and yet we have a Congress that finances our highway bill for 3 months at a time,” he said. “That’s not what the greatest country on earth does.”
Earlier in the day, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest defended the American economy during the daily press breifing, pointing out that the crash was a result of the “interconnected” global economy.
“What I would encourage people to evaluate is the ongoing strength and resilience of the U.S. economy,” Earnest said, describing it as “durable” and pointing to job growth and the 5.3 percent unemployment rate.
Earnest claimed Republicans could do more to strengthen the economy by passing a budget, a long-term transportation bill, and reauthorizing the Export-Import bank.
“While we continue to be confident about the longer-term trends when it comes to the U.S. economy, we would like to see Congress take the kind of common-sense steps that would build on that momentum that the U.S. economy continues to enjoy,” he said.